Every muscle in me cried out for reprieve, desperately trying to persuade me that giving up now would not be so terrible. My lungs screamed as I struggled for each breath, burning like the furnace of a great steamship – air rasping painfully at each gasp. Arms which had served me faithfully for so many miles began to growled mutinous threats as they were rocked again and again by impact of each divot, pothole, and crack in the asphalt. Quads, knees & calves, afire with each stroke of the peddles, reassured me with faithful service.
My thoughts drifted back to the purpose of all the effort. Young men and women across this great nation, struck down by misfortune or mistakes, convinced that the struggle to overcome was too great. I thought of the lies life whispers into our minds when we are weakened and vulnerable in our failures. How circumstances well beyond our control can thrash us so thoroughly that we are with-out hope to overcome.
I thought of my own life, with its unique struggles & circumstances, and wondered at the grace & mercies of God. How His faithfulness raised my spirits, giving me hope when once there was none. How his strength lifted me out of despair, setting my feet on a firm foundation. How His love embraced me when I was unlovable and unloving, my heart once full of dark shadows, at once filled with glorious light first penetrating, then shattering the darkness.
I’m not going to get preachy, or compel anyone to turn to Christ – but I was struck that everyone deserves a chance to see the light of hope pierce the shroud of darkness. If my actions, however small they are in the grand scheme of life, could be but a single flicker of hope – someone deserved it.
I think in total I managed to raise some $500 or so in sponsors, not enough to care for an orphaned child, or to support a disillusioned & displaced youth, or even to break the cycle of life long addiction. Sadly, life’s many pitfalls are usually not so simple that a handful of dollars is all it takes to overcome.
But… together… together we raised some $5000-6000 in sponsorship for this effort alone. Later this month we will have collected some $20,000 through our collective efforts. That flicker, now a blazing beacon of hope shattering the darkness first for one, then another and another.
Renewed in my conviction that this effort however daunting was worth every drop of sweat, every bruise and every ache I peddled on through the star lit Arizona desert and on toward the finish line.